Call Care Hotspur striker Santiago Gennuso has a shot at goal. Photo Peter Jones
Rangers AFC’s defence of their Nelson division one premiership title got off to a flying start at A&P Park on Saturday.
In round one of the 2021 competition they hosted FC Nelson Locomotive, who were derailed 9-0.
A clinical Rangers side turned on one of their best efforts of the season, scoring five goals before the halftime mark.
Manager Wolfie Waechter said the lop-sided scoreline “was not because [Locomotive] were particularly weak, but because the home side did not let them into the game”.
“Locomotive were very defensive but our boys were patient, moving the ball quickly with fast one-touch football. They created holes in the backline then capitalised.”
Julian Delgado, Keagan Mortimer, Liam Clamp, Jordy Columbus and Jono Masters scored first half goals, Masters adding his second soon after the break. Adam Rose was brought into the game 15 minutes into the second spell and quickly found his touch, scoring twice. Harrison Pine bagged the other goal.
The midfield trio of Tore and Bjorn Waechter, plus the energetic Pine, controlled proceedings, while Columbus, Aaron Hayes and Mark Palmer were rock solid at the back. Youngster Liam Clamp continued his goalscoring knack, while providing a couple of goal assists.
Next week Rangers travel to Takaka to play Golden Bay.
Meanwhile, in Mayfield Motorworld division one action, the on-field results differed from the eventual outcomes, two teams losing goals and match points due to playing ineligible players.
On the field, Rangers Development beat Call Care Hotspurs 5-3 but the final result was amended to 3-0 to Development. Central Wolves and Call Care Trojans drew 3-3, with Wolves being awarded the match 3-0. In the other match the on-field result stood, Central Buccaneers beating Bottle-O BV Masters 3-2.
Buccaneers led 2-1 at halftime, after goals to Kerwin O’Malley and Ben Shallcrass, Ben Clarke grabbing one back for Masters just before the break. Michael Jay equalised early in the second half before Shallcrass notched the winner with just a few minutes to play.
Once again, Rangers Development were involved in a high-scoring match. Hotspurs took an early lead, through Aaron Henderson, before Development, sparked by a Boyd Elvy first half hat-trick, scored five before the break. The other goals, to Josh Clamp and Logan Robb were long-range efforts. Trojans scored either side of the break, through Nathan Mathieson and the ever-dangerous Santiago Gennuso to narrow the gap but the damage had been done well before that. Development’s players of the day were Boyd Elvy and Jake Bezant while Gennuso and Fabricio Diaz stood out for Hotspurs.
At Athletic Park, Call Care Trojans and Wolves fought out a thriller. Trojans led 1-0 at halftime, courtesy of a Phil Newport goal. In a see-sawing second 45, Tomas Lupani and Federico Obregon got on the scoresheet for Trojans but three goals to Wolves ensured honours were even after 90 minutes.
Mayfield Motorworld division two action was more straightforward, Rangers Masters beating Call Care Spartans 3-1, Rangers Clubs of Marlborough downing Redwood 1-0 and Central overcoming Central Privateers 4-1.
Meanwhile, Marlborough’s BV Bullets women’s side kicked off their 2021 Nelson first division season with a narrow 1-0 loss to defending champs Richmond Foxes at Jubilee Park, Nelson.
During a scoreless first half the visitors created several opportunities to open the scoring, Lauren Sloan, Maggie Lane and Tesa Hyland going close.
The decisive goal came in the 61st minute, an angled shot from Richmond’s Jenny Harvey sliding past the BV keeper.
BV’s coach, Scott Kennovin, said, “we were a bit unlucky really. One small mistake in defence cost us the result. I’m looking forward to seeing us build on this for the season”.
Goalkeeper Riley Preece was player of the day for BV.